Nick Saban admits that he’ll never get over Auburn’s Kick-Six

Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban on the field before the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game against the Clemson Tigers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama coach Nick Saban doesn’t have to deal with losses very often, but when he does, they’re usually in big games.

Earlier this week, Saban discussed last year’s last-second title game loss to Clemson, telling ESPN.com he puts it up there with a College Football Playoff semifinal loss to Ohio State and Auburn’s dramatic “Kick-Six” victory in 2013:

“I’ll never get over it because you never do with those kind of losses,” Saban told ESPN this week. “I never got over the returned field goal at Auburn. I never got over playing poorly against Ohio State and losing that game late. And then in this game, we didn’t play very well, and Clemson did when they had to. That’s what eats at you. We didn’t play that great against Washington, either (in a 24-7 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl win) in the semifinal.

“Something happened to our team from the SEC championship game to the playoff. You look at the Clemson game, and our really good players didn’t play very well. But Clemson was a damn good team. They were the best team we played against with the best quarterback, and where we needed to play well, we didn’t.”

Since taking over the Alabama program in 2007, Saban has a record of 114-19, with six of those losses coming in his first year in Tuscaloosa.

With five national championships — four of which have been with the Crimson Tide — Saban has a lot to be proud of, but it’s clear those devastating losses stick with him.

Even if the Crimson Tide go undefeated and win the national championship each of the next three seasons, Saban will likely still be talking about the Kick-Six and what Alabama could have done better in last year’s championship game.

Of course, if a team is able to hand Alabama another brutal loss in 2017, that will likely take over Saban’s mind and drive him toward madness (or retirement, whichever comes first).

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  • He mentioned four teams you headline one. He has one undefeated since being at Bama but now a loss is going to make him think of retirement….. swing for the fences much?

    • He has one undefeated what? I don’t understand.

      • Saban has one completely undefeated season. (2009, 14-0)

        • pretty sad

        • Sad? No way hun! It’s been AWESOME!!! Even the times when things didn’t go Bama’s way, I still feel honored that my Tide got to compete against some of the BESTS this game will ever see. Tebow/Urbs @ UF, Spurrier, Miles in his hay day with those brutal defenses, Cam, Manziel, Watson, Urbs and that ridiculously talented tOSU team… Nah, it’s not “sad” in the least lil bit and if it all came to a screeching halt today, I’d feel nothing but gratitude for the privilege of bearing witness to this past decade of SEC/Bama history.

      • Season. 2009 was Saban’s only undefeated season at Bama. The title makes it sound like it’s just Kick 6 that haunts Saban when the truth is anytime a Bama team could have or should have performed better, it’s a sore spot with Saban. Kick 6 haunts us all I think, but for me, it was because we didn’t get a chance at the 3-peat, whereas for Saban, it’s probably because he feels like there was something different he could’ve done in that moment (like perhaps having SOME personnel on the field that could catch that friggin’ Barner lol). Anyhoo, I disagree with the author as well. I think that the challenge and games like Kick 6, Clemson and Ole Miss are what keeps him coaching. The day he realizes his “Process” has been perfected is the day he’ll retire and move on to a new challenge.

        • Define “season”, because that usually means the first 12 games (hence the term “post-season” for conf. CG and playoffs). So Saban has actually had 3 undefeated seasons at Alabama: 2008, 2009, and 2016. IIRC the 2008 season was the first time a team had gone 12-0 in a regular season (instead of 11-0 + bowl game), then Bama and Florida did it in ’09.

        • There is also a term, regular season for those first 12 games. There is post season for after. Season should mean both.

        • I mean “season” as in, from start to whenever it’s all said and done, Bama REMAINED perfect. Either ’07 or ’08 was probably my favorite Saban season because you could just FEEL where things were headed. ’11 and ’12 were great too though because those teams had that “will not be denied” attitude, especially after the LSU/Aggies loss. It’s crazy to me that some folks could think of those seasons as “sad,” when it’s actually been a joyride y’know?

        • I said season. That is the regular season as well as the post season. Going undefeated in the regular season and then dropping a game in the post season still results as a loss during the season…..

  • Nick needs to get over it, todos Los aficionados de Alabama knows he’ll be in the playoff again this year.

  • Well, it says volumes about his coaching ability that in all the years he has been at Alabama he only mentions, what, 4 losses he can’t get over.